A brief instruction on how to spoil the results of your work

One of the main products of an academic research is a scientific publication. In an Israeli University you get all kinds of bonuses, promotions and other pleasant things according to the quality and quantity of your publications.
There are publication that “count” and there are those that do not. A list of journals whose publications do count is managed and updated by the Higher Education Council of Israel and you have no control over it.
There are some journals (that do count) that have recently started to offer to the authors an option to publish preprints of your paper even before it has been officially accepted. When you are sending your paper to such a journal they would offer you to publish a preprint and say how great that would be. This is exactly the point where you  get trapped! If you accept their offer your paper is immediately published on the website www.preprints.org. This is a good site, non-profit, Creative Common licensed and so forth. I really love it. However, sometimes your paper does not come to the final publication. There may be quite numerous reasons. The last instance occurred to my colleague whose paper was approved by all the reviewers and suddenly rejected by the editor on the last day before the publication. (If you asked if such a behavior is considered normal, I would answer that it definitely is not, but that is quite a different story). So my colleague wrote to the editor a couple of words of “respect and appreciation” and sat to prepare the paper to be submitted to another journal. And here the trick appeared.
The journal answered that the paper could not be accepted because it had been previously published elsewhere. The nicest and the loveliest site www.preprint.com said that “preprints will not be removed to allow journal submission, authors should check in advance whether the journal they intend to submit to accepts preprints.”
So the paper which is a result of some months’ work hashbeen spoiled and will never bring any benefits to the authors.
Be on guard and do not say I you have not been warned!

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